January 29, 2013

Hey family! 
How is life back home?  I am doing alright here.  We got a new mission president this week, President Nally.  so far he has been good.  this means i will have four mission presidents on my mission, if you count the ones here at the mtc.  thanks for your letters.  the watch you sent me got scratched a little bit.  it is not a lot and doesn't really bother me, but if there is some kind of warrantee, i can send it back, but if not no worries because I'm sure it would probably just happen again sometime in the next two years. 

over half way now though.  the tahitian district in our branch just left so now those that came on dec 19 are the oldest.  we get one sister this week and then something like 48 the next week.  then two weeks after that another 45 - pretty crazy!  I finished my mormon.org profile, but can't upload a picture here.  mom will you do that for me and then submit it if everything sounds good?  thank you.  Also i do need some replacement razor blades.  my first is gone and second is being used right now.  no rush, but sometime in the next week or two would be great. it would probably be a good idea to send me a whole lot that i can take to africa. 

only four weeks for the benin elders, and three for the lyon and canada elders.  that is so crazy!  three weeks feels like such a short time, but 4 seems much longer than a week more.  this week we had our malaria meeting.  we picked up our pills and start taking them.  nothing to worry about, just take them and you should be fine. 

my french is still improving.  i can speak better and faster each, day and understand more and more, but it still is hard to understand a real french speaking person.  and I'm sure it will be really hard to understand in africa too. 

tell dani that st. petersburg is awesome!!  and that i am so excited for her. she will be a great missionary.  i am going to try to find the st. petersburg elders. i think they are a couple floors up from me in the classroom, and tell them when they see her to say hi from me.  I have done that with a few other people, especially those elders going to paris for lauren and natalie haha. 

Thank you Crystal for your letter, that was awesome.  trina, curtis and heather you guys are awesome. i love you.  if you have any questions then you should ask them to me and then i can have more stuff to talk about.  oh and elder hatch says hi.  he is another friend from af going to congo,  speaking french.  

i need to go get breakfast now though, so i think i am going to go.  i forgot my camera so no pictures this week.  there is one picture of elder clarke, elder hatch's companion right after he drank HALF a jar of queso.  it was so nasty!!!!  we had it left over from the chips we were eating, and he was like... I'll drink that.  and then he did.  it was so nasty.  so far our record for a eating whole bag of restaurant style chips with queso as a district - just the elders :) - is 2 minutes 36 seconds.  I'm not sure if i should be proud or disgusted by that record, but i am.  love you all!  good luck nathan in wrestling, and way to go sticking it out especially with school and all that.  Emma i will try to get a letter written to you soon.  benjamin i would write you a letter if you ever wrote me....  mom you are the best!  i love you so much! 

I'll write you all next week, talk to you in 4 weeks and see you in 22 and a half months. 
love, elder rybin

January 22, 2013

Hey family. 
They don't deliver Dear Elder until like dinner time so I haven't received them yet, but I'm excited for it. Yeah, 1 month just a few days ago.  that means only 5 or 6 more weeks.  I am losing count.  I saw kendall (orton) just the other day.  i came up behind him and covered his eyes and it kind of freaked him out.  it was great.  I'm excited to see brandon (garlick) this week.  That is so awesome that maddie (schellenberg) is going to finland.  one of the elders that left a week ago going to lyon was from finland.  that language is crazy!!!  the word for missionary is like 25 letters long and looks like this "a;lskdjfndklsoienrn;dslsierhklamsn" but I'm super excited for her.  I am also excited to see where dani (peterson) is going! 
there keeps getting more and more missionaries every week and tons and tons of sister missionaries.  it is crazy.  we have gym like 4 or 5 times a week for a little less than an hour.  i usually dominate everyone at four square.  including elder hales. haha (he says that is a lie but its not).  i will see lauren (hafen) here for a few days, and probably that other kid.  the tahitians are leaving the branch next week and then we will officially be the oldest, and then about one hundred new french speaking missionaries are coming in.  about 45 with lauren and like 45 two weeks before and then a handful the other weeks.  its gonna be crazy. 

Did you hear that Elder Holland came a week ago for our tuesday night devotional.  it was awesome.  he gave one of his usual fire and brimstone, scare you to be an awesome missionary, talks that are awesome.  one of the best parts was when he was talking about how missionaries sometimes don't convert themselves and then they get home and fall away.  he said that those people wouldn't like to meet him in a dark alley after that.  he was basically yelling into the mic and said pointing his finger at all of us.  "I COMMAND YOU TO HAVE AT LEAST ONE CONVERT ON YOUR MISSION AND IF THAT IS ALL, IT BETTER BE YOU"  it was pretty awesome. 
also, elder hales replaced me as district leader because we are half way through now.  we just got a notice when we checked for mail that elder potter, hales, and i have to report to the health clinic tomorrow for malaria info.  we don't know any more than that but should be fun. 

thanks for the new talks that should be good for now.  i have really loved reading through them and studying them.  i have learned a lot.  its really cold here all the time.  it just gets me more and more excited for africa and no negative degree mornings and temple walks that make your face hurt. just hot hot hot.  I'm psyched! i am constantly tired here.  i could fall asleep any time of the day if i wasn't doing stuff.  it is so hard to stay awake in the temple and at church.  i was snoring a little in the temple this morning, but not too loud and just for a second :).  at church i blink and then my head just falls, but it is ok, just keep working. 

tell everyone back home they are awesome.  I'll look for brandon tomorrow and this week.  love you all, thanks for the letters that i will read tonight!  stay warm.
love love love.  Elder Rybin 

January 15, 2013

This week has been good.  We sent off a lot of elders to a whole bunch of different places yesterday and today.  our zone has shrunk by probably half, but we are going to get like 45 missionaries in a couple of weeks and then 40 something more like the next week. some are going to paris, some to lyon, some to florida, some to boston, and some to africa.
thanks for all the letters and packages.  the watch is doing great thanks and I haven't finished all the talks yet but i have read over half and will read a few more today.  another one of my friends came in last week he is going to congo and so he is just a few doors up from me.  it is cool to see him all the time.  When does lauren hafen come in?  is it the week before i leave? i'll definitely see her if it is.  but if not, i told a few of the elders that are going to paris to say hi to her and natalie when they see them from me. 

Elder hales and i taught some awesome lessons this week.  we have 3 "investigators" right now that are 3 different teachers that pretend to be investigators that they taught on their missions.  All three of them have said yes to baptism, some it took longer than others but some it was pretty fast.  we have been teaching them all for different lengths of time too.  I am learning a lot more about how the spirit works with me especially during lessons.  it is really awesome to see that improvement too.  we brought another one of the teachers to a lesson with ashley one of our investigators and that lesson went super well.  the lessons here can be really awesome, but i just can't wait to be king.  sorry that just popped into my head.  but i can't wait to get to africa and teach real real people and not just pretend real people.  

language is coming along.  i spend most of my time teaching other people how to do stuff but it is good for me too.  there are still things that take me some time to say, but i am getting better.  it is hard when i want to say something but can't, but i will get there.  also something else i learned or realized while i was sitting in priesthood on sunday was that not once does it say " to teach" in the purpose of a missionary.  the closest thing is invite and "help receive".  pretty interesting when you think about it.  

nathan i will send you a written experience.  i am running out of time on email.  also benjamin i will write you too and answer your questions.  it is really cold here all the time especially in the early morning or late nights and when i only have my short sleeves under my jacket.... i am surviving but i can't wait to get to africa and soak up the warmth and thaw out my bones.  good luck in school everyone.  don't freeze mom.  love you all.  i will send some pictures in a bit. i have to go to another computer.  also you could send me some more talks, no rush, but they are awesome and i'll be done with those others in a few days tops.  

love elder Rybin.

January 8, 2013

Elder Hales and Elder Rybin
Hello Family!  this week has been good.  We had a good week, not much different.  I found out yesterday they are keeping me for the full 10 weeks.  I was pretty bummed about it and frustrated, but it's ok.  there is something here that i need to learn or maybe something i need to help others learn.  most likely the first. 

We are just done with the temple.  it was good to go after 2 weeks of missing it.  we ate in the temple cafeteria which was good, better than at the mtc.  the two permanent teachers i have did not go to benin but one of the zone resource teachers did and we have talked to him a few times.  my morning teacher frere corbett went to quebec on his mission and my night teacher went to lyon.  they are both pretty great teachers. 

there is not really anything i need right now, we have so much junk food that all of our moms keep sending us.  I shared the cinnamon rolls with the others in the district and they said to tell you that they are awesome and you are the greatest cook ever.  I told them i knew that already :)

Elder Marson (L) &  Elder Potter (R)
I would like you to send me some talks printed off that i can read because i have yet to find out where i can do that.  i can listen to them, and some even in french which i have been doing a lot lately but i can't print them off.  so i would like "seek learning by faith" by elder bednar.  "none were with him" by elder holland.  and any others that you guys would think would be good. it doesn't really matter how many because i'll be able to get to them all.  also send the one by elder christopherson about loving me enough to hurt me and the bush story.  benjamin if you know any good mission talks send them all.  i already have the challenging and testifying missionary one so don't worry about that one, but all the rest of them that you can think of.  i would love it. 

i have worn my glasses 99 percent of the time here so i'm good without the contacts stuff too. shaving is fine.  also I would like you to send me a watch.  nothing expensive or heavy or weird :) but i always have to ask elder hales what time it is and it is really annoying..  i might send it home before i go to africa but for the next 7 weeks i would like one. 

also i was thinking about grandma schieler the other day.  i want to send her something.

District Elders at the Provo Temple
I am improving a lot.  I can speak french pretty much as good as the elders who are leaving next week so i have been spending a lot of my time helping everyone else in my district.  thanks also for the pictures, they were great.  ps i forgot to send kendall and kyle a letter last p day and i can write one today, but if you see austin tell him to tell everyone to send me their addresses so i can send it to them.  especially their mtc and field addresses so i don't have to wait for them to send me something.  tell brandon i will see him and also pretty much everyone else.  I might be able to get on hosting duty on one of the weeks and pick some of them up. 

Room for more??
we are getting another district tomorrow with 5 elders and 3 sisters. I'm not sure where they are going, but that's cool.  the mtc is already starting to get more and more packed.  over the next two months it is going to get really crazy.  im not sure how they are going to do it.  I'm going to send pictures in a bit. i know how but i figured out that only some of the computers let you and so that's why i haven't been able to send any.  so i'm going to go switch my laundry and then send some pictures. 

love you all.  thanks for the letters.  I'm looking forward to getting a whole bunch of talks to read and study :)  have a great week.  good luck in school.  don't freeze.  it has been really cold down here. a few days ago it was like -8 degrees outside at 9 in the morning.  it is getting better though for now at least. 

love you all! Elder Rybin

January 1, 2013

sorry about the bad spelling and all but we only have so much time and that is also why it is better to send by dear elder so I can read them during the week.  elder hales is my companion he is also going to benin and both davis and karras are going to lyon.  then we have 3 sisters in our district sister busteed from ut going to the st george visitors center speaking french, then sister eschbach from germany going to lyon, then sister sims from ut going to lyon. 

Christmas was good. elder nelson came and spoke in the morning, then we had greg olson come during the afternoon.  that was really cool. he got to talk about what his paintings mean and subtle symbolism in them and also he knows the savior really well because basically his full time job is to think of what is the best way to portray His characteristics to others.  pretty cool guy.  also we had a talent show with some pretty amazing stuff and we watched its a wonderful life at night. 

yes i have been getting dear elder stuff.  none from benjamin yet but i've got some from emma and nathan.  nathan you better win and don't give up 'til you do and emma you're great. i know who you're talking about, his first name is skyler.  i know who he is and have seen him a few times. 

has it snowed a lot in af, cuz down here we have like 8 inches to a foot. it's pretty crazy.  also yesterday was elder marson's birthday - he turned 19.  he is from england if i didn't say that before.  we celebrated with martinellis in the classroom. 

i don't need that orange book. we have it here as well as enough books to fill a suitcase full.  french is coming along good.  I am remembering a lot and doing well.  I can talk with the elders that have been here 9 weeks and am getting close to their level.  I still hope i can leave in 2 more weeks but I haven't heard for sure.  there is a picture of the elders in my room all in one of the closets that i'll send and also i'm going to try and send the rice man we made at lunch. 

emma some of the food is good ish and some is not really good.  nothing as good as moms.  we listened to elder bednar's talk, the character of christ, last night after our devotional.  that is a really great talk.  I wrote some letters to my buddies but i don't have any of their addresses besides reggie so i'll send them home and then you can give them to them.  also i said i was going to send home a package with some small christmas stuff, but the mail room wasn't open last week and it isn't open today and they only want us to mail on our pday so i'll send it tommorow. 

oh i don't know if you got a letter or not but i was made district leader a couple of days after i got here.  doesn't really mean too much here i just do some extra stuff and go to some meetings, but if they didn't tell you now you know.  I'll be switched out about half way through they said.  the schedule is getting better, we are more used to the long days.  we spend around 10 hours in our classroom every day then like an hour and a half in the cafeteria and a little time in our room right after we get up and before we go to bed, but mostly we are in the tiny classroom.  probably the same ones benjamin was in because i was deleting some of his pictures and they looked exactly the same as ours and we have the creole elders down the hall, but i don't know.  I'm working hard and already want to leave for africa, but i have to be patient. the Lord knows what's best for me and everyone, so if he needs me to stay i'll stay.  love you all.  well my computer is being dumb so i'll send pictures when i can.  good luck in school this semester. 

love Elder Rybin